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LETTERS for November 19 issue

By Staff | Nov 19, 2015

Police presence needed at library property

Over the last five years, the Lahaina Library has undergone many changes. Thanks to the Rotary Club’s induced renovations, the fine library staff (Madelyn, Cindy, Larry Kuia and, most recently, Chadde) and their general to expert assistance make it an excellent location for Internet access, study and research. It has been a cool and quiet oasis.

Unfortunately, there are those who abuse the privilege of existence as they loiter loudly on the spacious oceanfront lawn with total disregard for others and this establishment. This is done in the form of continuous property abuse – i.e., nightly “cardboard sleeping” in this area, drug and alcohol ingestion, defecating and urinating on and around the building, and leaving piles of trash, filthy clothing, food and feces on and around the sidewalk fronting the library, which the staff must deal with each morning.

It is addressed by our local police – who roust offenders seven nights a week – yet the problems continue. Possibly, and hopefully, our Lahaina Police Department could increase the firmness and times of patrol/rousting throughout the night.

Many mahalos to Carlos Viti, ex-security, who successfully kept the day offenders at bay; he continues to maintain a daily presence as the current groundsman. Also thanks and selamat po to past day Security Guard Cesar Carinio, who kept library parking available for library users. New Security Guard Andre is also proving to be a positive force, as less day abuse takes place during his presence.

Thank you, LPD, and please continue, and hopefully increase, your night patrols, and the Lahaina community may regain our oasis that is the Lahaina Public Library.



The correct description is ‘made ON Maui’

Even in our weekly paper? Really?

Every time I see something in print that says “made IN Maui,” I shake my head in disbelief. But now even this publication puts the same mistake in print: “Made in Maui County Festival to feature….” in the November 5-11 publication.

Sure, you see it on T-shirts and recently in an ad for a function at the MACC, but a newspaper that has an editor?

So, let me just give everyone a grammar lesson. We live ON the island of Maui IN the State of Hawaii. I don’t think that is too difficult, but then I don’t re-tell conversations I have had as “so I go” when referring to a reply made in that conversation. I pride myself on knowing if I am walking or talking.



Bullies are everywhere

Bully definition from Webster’s Dictionary: “Overbearing, intimidating, lying person.” Bullies are all around us – in the schools, workplace, our homes.

I was the youngest in my family. I am very aware of being bullied. It’s part of our negative society.

Today we are being entertained with rappers, comedians and even so-called educated politicians slandering each other in order to appeal to the news media and this generation of haters. I understand their concerns: dishonesty in our government, our citizens unable to prove white collar theft, and lies, including how much gold we really have in Fort Knox. The White House bullies will not allow an audit of our gold supply.

How do you like the bullying going on with our presidential candidates? Turns me right off. Bullying and winning go hand in hand – everything revolves around winning. I feel sad that we don’t have any God-fearing leaders to guide us to our potential as a chosen people. Families need to give loving discipline to their children, who today care about material and physical pleasures, instead of being grateful that we have more than any other country in the world. Learning to share will help to stop bullying. The older generation should set an example. The Golden Rule is: Those who have the gold, rule. Use it!



Women-owned businesses flourish

Women-owned businesses are gaining economic impact and clout.

A National Women’s Business Council analysis of U.S. Census data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners shows significant growth since 2007. As of 2012, there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses – a 27.5 percent rise. The analysis also showed that women-owned businesses generated $1.6 trillion in total receipts, which is up from $1.2 trillion in 2007 – an increase of 35 percent! For comparison, male-owned businesses saw an increase of 33 percent. While sole proprietorships account for 89.4 percent of businesses owned by women, employee hiring has also increased by 19.5 percent.

African-American women own more than 1.5 million businesses across the U.S., a 67.5 percent jump from 2007. There are 1.48 million Hispanic women-owned businesses in the U.S, an increase of 87.31 percent since 2007. And 754,874 Asian American women own businesses, up 44.3 percent from 2007. Another area of tremendous growth was in veteran women-owned businesses, which increased by 206 percent from 2007 to a total of 384,548 businesses nationwide.

Over 100 Women’s Business Centers across the country offer counseling, business training and other services to women in business in all 50 states.

Visit www.cfra.org for more information about the REAP Women’s Business Center and other Center for Rural Affairs programs.

MONICA BRAUN, Center for Rural Affairs


Medicare open enrollment season is here

When you shop for a new car, you don’t just buy the first one you see, right? Of course not. You shop around, looking for the best deal you can get on a vehicle that fits your driving needs as well as your pocketbook.

Well, it’s the time of year when you should think about shopping for a Medicare health or drug plan. Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7, 2015.

If you have Original Medicare, meaning that you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, you don’t need to think about open enrollment. But if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) health plan, or a Medicare (Part D) prescription drug plan, you may want to see if there’s a new plan on the market that would be a better match for you, at a lower price.

If you’re enrolled in a plan already and you’re happy with it, you don’t need to do anything. But Medicare health and drug plans – which are run by private insurers under contract to Medicare – can change from year to year. A plan can raise its monthly premium or drop a medicine that you need.

So, it makes good sense to review your coverage each year. Make sure your plan still is a good fit for you in terms of cost, coverage and quality. If it isn’t, look for another plan.

During open enrollment, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan or Part D prescription drug plan, or switch from one plan to another. Your new coverage will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

How do you shop for a new plan? There are several ways to do that. One is the “Medicare & You” handbook, which is mailed each fall to every Medicare household in the country. This booklet lists all the Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans that are available where you live, along with basic information such as premiums, deductibles and contact information.

There’s also the Medicare Plan Finder at the www.Medicare.gov website. Look for a green button that says “Find health & drug plans.” By clicking on that and plugging in your zip code, you’ll be able to see all of the Medicare Advantage and Part D plans available in your area. You can compare them based on benefits, premiums, co-pays and estimated out-of-pocket costs. Contact information for the plans is listed.

If you don’t have access to a computer, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Our customer service representatives can help you with questions about Medicare health and drug plans. The call is free.

Another very helpful resource is Hawaii’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP. Hawaii SHIP is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides free, personalized counseling to people with Medicare. You can make an appointment to speak with a SHIP counselor either in-person or over the phone.

SHIP counselors are well-trained volunteers who often are enrolled in Medicare themselves, so they know the issues. They can help you sort through the many health and drug plans on the market and pick one that’s right for you. To contact Hawaii SHIP, call 1-888-875-9229.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan as of Jan. 1, 2016, but you’re not satisfied with it, you have a 45-day window to dis-enroll. Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14, 2016, you can drop your plan and return to Original Medicare. You can also sign up for a Part D drug plan during that time.

Having trouble paying for your Part D plan? You may be eligible for the Extra Help program, which helps cover your premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Medicare beneficiaries typically save about $4,000 annually with Extra Help. For more information on Extra Help, go to www.SSA.gov/prescriptionhelp.

DAVID SAYEN, Medicare’s Regional Administrator for Hawaii